500 Community Workers To Help Women Fleeing Domestic Violence

Women fleeing violence are being turned away from services because this government has not funded enough workers to help them. Labor will fund an additional 500 community sector workers and will create a new Commonwealth Family, Domestic and Sexual Violence Commissioner.

Violence against women is at epidemic levels:

  • One woman is killed every week by a current or former partner.
  • Violence is the leading preventable cause of death, illness and disability for women aged 15-44.
  • Police are called to a domestic violence incidence every two minutes.
  • Over the past nine years, Coalition governments have failed to take this seriously.

Australian women and children are trapped in violent relationships because the Morrison Government has not funded family violence services to give them the help they need to leave and stay safe.

  • Refuges report turning away up to half of the women who come to them for help.
  • Only 1 in 10 women who want to stay home safely have the support to do so.

500 New Community Sector Workers

Leaving a violent relationship is the hardest and most dangerous thing that many people will ever do. Right now, women fleeing violence are being turned away because this government has not funded enough community sector workers to help them.

This is why an Albanese Labor government will fund 500 new community sector workers to support women in crisis. Across the country domestic violence organisations tell us how much more they could do with an extra pair of hands. Labor’s commitment will allow:

  • Shelters to employ an extra case manager to help women go through the complex task of setting up a new, safer life.
  • Community organisations to hire a financial counsellor to help women escape the debt their abuser has run up in their name.
  • Specialist women’s services to employ a support worker to help children work through their experiences.

Half of these jobs will be allocated to rural and regional areas. This will create employment opportunities for people outside our major cities and ensure that no matter where you live you have access to services to build a safer, better life.

Commonwealth Family, Domestic and Sexual Violence Commissioner

An Albanese government will establish a new Domestic and Sexual Violence Commissioner to act as a strong voice for victim-survivors. The Commissioner will:

  • Help co-ordinate action across the country so that people experiencing violence can access the support and services they need no matter where they live.
  • Work with Commonwealth agencies, states, territories and community organisations to gather the data we need to invest resources effectively and track progress;
  • Deliver a yearly report to the Parliament measuring progress against the National Plan to help hold governments accountable.

Our commitment to women’s safety

These measures build on Labor’s existing commitments to women’s safety, including:

  • As part of our Housing Australia Future Fund, Labor will invest $100 million in crisis accommodation and build 4,000 homes for women and children fleeing violence and older women on low incomes who are at risk of homelessness.
  • Legislating for 10 days paid family and domestic violence leave. Because no one should have to choose between a job and leaving an abusive relationship.
  • Progressing a national definition of domestic violence that includes coercive control.
  • Investing $76 million in consent and respectful relationships education in schools to help prevent violence.

Labor supports calls for a separate national plan for First Nations people to end violence against women and family violence. The plan must be sufficient in scale and ambition and properly resourced to make a difference.

Labor will make a $79 million investment in justice reinvestment to support First Nations communities to reduce incarceration rates, including early intervention to reduce family violence.